Rainer Maria Rilke on Trusting in Nature, Loving Small Things & Living Questions

Suspension Bridge Nepal Himalaya

In the great silence of these distances, I am touched by your beautiful anxiety about life, …even more than I was in Paris, where everything echoes and fades away differently because of the excessive noise that makes Things tremble. Here, where I am surrounded by an enormous landscape, which the winds move across as they […]

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Anais Nin on June Miller—& a Rare Radio Interview

Anais Nin

“Words and certain languages and certain rhythms belong to certain personalities — the writing takes on the color of the certain personality that I describe.” ~ Anaïs Nin Listen to a rare interview with Anaïs Nin Frank Roberts of KPFK radio interviews Anaïs Nin, following the publication of the first volume of her eponymous diary in 1966. […]

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Poetry | Tonight I Can Write (The Saddest Lines) By Pablo Neruda

A Kiss

Tonight I Can Write (The Saddest Lines) Tonight I can write the saddest lines. Write, for example, ‘The night is starry and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.’ The night wind revolves in the sky and sings. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me […]

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Madeleine L’Engle on the 3 Most Important Things for Writers

Close Up Of A Dirty Vintage Typewriter

“I have advice for people who want to write. I don’t care whether they’re 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think […]

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Happy Birthday, Frida Kahlo—Poetry, Pain & the Healing Power of Art

Frida Kahlo & Chavela Vargas

“Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing,” said Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, who was born on this day in 1907. In honour of her 109th birthday (though Frida preferred to state her birth year as 1910 — the start of the Mexican […]

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Mark Strand on Being in Creative Flow

Time

“[When] you’re right in the work, you lose your sense of time… You’re completely enraptured, You’re completely caught up in what you’re doing, and you’re sort of swayed by the possibilities you see in this work. If that becomes too powerful, then you get up, because the excitement is too great. You can’t continue to […]

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George Saunders’ Short Animated Documentary on the Art of Storytelling

Surreal writer

“A good story is one that says, at many different levels, ‘we’re both human beings, we’re in this crazy situation called life, that we don’t really understand. Can we put our heads together and confer about it a little bit at a very high, non-bullshitty level?’ Then, all kinds of magic can happen.” ~ George Saunders […]

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Happy Birthday Nina Simone [& a Brief Blog Hiatus]

miss-nina-simone

Happy birthday, Miss Simone. Though unrelated to the exquisite Miss Simone’s birthday… You may have noticed that things have been a little too quiet in this portal of late, a little too light on posts and short on prose. I had hoped to be sharing something of value for you now, something edifying, inspiring, healing too, and a […]

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Ursula K. Le Guin on Where We Get Our Ideas From

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It’s a big question—where do writers get their ideas, where do artists get their visions, where do musicians get their music? It’s bound to have a big answer. Or a whole lot of them. One of my favorite answers is this: Somebody asked Willie Nelson how he thought up his tunes, and he said, “The air is […]

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